Russia had one job to do at these Winter Olympics: compete cleanly.
Following the sanctions from a state-sponsored doping scandal in the wake of the 2014 Sochi Games, it was a gift from the International Olympic Committee to allow 168 Olympic Athletes from Russia compete in the 2018 Olympic Games.
Two athletes blatantly abused the second chance. Earlier in the week, curler Alexander Krushelnitsky was caught using a banned substance called meldonium, which increases blood circulation and is the same substance that earned tennis player Maria Sharapova a 15-month ban. He and his wife, Anastasia Bryzgalova, were stripped of their Olympic bronze medals won during the mixed curling competition, the first event of these Olympic Games.
And still: The IOC considered reinstating Russia for the Closing Ceremony. Then came Friday’s news: Bobsledder Nadezhda Sergeeva tested positive for a banned heart medication. The irony was laid on thick when photos were released of Nadezhda wearing a shirt that read “I Don’t Do Doping” in the leadup to the Olympics. Read the full story here.
Regarding bobsledders who do follow the rules, Canadian track-star-turned-bobsledder Phylicia George, the first black Canadian woman to compete in both a Summer and Winter Olympics, won a bronze medal, and that earned her dad some love at a local elementary school. Read the full story here.
According to the Associated Press, nearly 2.5 million dogs are killed in Korea for their meat each year. An international organization devoted to protecting animals is looking to change that, aiming to send hundreds of dogs to North America with flight volunteers. Read the full story here.
On a lighter note, while these Winter Games have not been great for the Americans, the U.S. women’s hockey team’s thrilling victory over Canada for the gold medal underscored the theme of these Olympics: The American women delivered in PyeongChang. Read the full story here.
The gold medal match has been officially set: the Olympic Athletes from Russia will face … Germany. The OAR, considered the tournament favorite due to a roster loaded with KHL and NHL experience, easily dispatched the Czech Republic 3-0 in the semifinal. Germany will play for gold after shocking Canada 4-3, taking down the defending gold medalists. Read the full story here.
Shani Davis, one of America’s greatest black athletes, a Winter Olympics deity, skated his final race Friday. His contributions are manifold, his influence apparent, his legacy intact. His words – or lack thereof – are but a part of his story. So read the full story here.
Last but not least, betting is not a widely discussed aspect of the Olympics, though there were a number of underdogs who would have crushed Vegas. If you did want to place a bet, you could do so at a casino just outside of the Olympic site — only Koreans aren’t allowed. Read the full story here.